I’m a long-time investigative journalist who has been fired repeatedly due to clashes with management and editors. I’m currently an incredibly underpaid contributing writer for VICE and columnist for the New York Observer. I’m based in Washington — the very best place to dredge up bullshit because it’s the city’s chief manufactured product.
My favorite topic, broadly speaking, is the grey world — where governments and criminals secretly collaborate. My stories have landed people in prison, launched U.S. congressional investigations, led to FBI raids, and brought down one of the most “prestigious” banks in Washington — Riggs, which was laundering money for dictators like Augusto Pinochet of Chile and Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea, not to mention Saudi diplomats tied to the 9/11 attacks.
In 1993, I founded the muckraking newsletter CounterPunch (Motto: “Tells the facts and names the names”) and the following year was joined by the legendary writer Alexander Cockburn. His great-grandfather, the British rear admiral George Cockburn, burned Washington to the ground in 1812. And, curiously, that’s my chief goal now as a journalist.
I left CounterPunch in 1999 and since then I’ve written for countless magazines and newspapers. I’ve worked on staff as an investigative reporter with the Los Angeles Times’s Washington office and as the Washington correspondent for Harper’s magazine. I’ve also written a number of books, including The Radioactive Boy Scout and The Secret World of Oil.
As a journalist I have no loyalties to anyone except the readers, which is why I attack all sides, right, center and left. I’m a writer, not an activist. I pursue great stories even if they’re about a person or a cause I admire, though it’s always more fun to go after the world’s sleaziest politicians and mobsters.